I’ve heard stories about World War II since my childhood. So during the project, I decided to learn more about my ancestors in those trying times. I am going to start with the stories of my grandmother Svitlana Pylypivna about her parents. My mother is a history teacher, and the issues of historical memory and the history of Odessa during WWII are of particular interests to her. Therefore she helped me voice the video and process it.
Oleksii Sydorov was born in 1920. Until the beginning of World War II served in the Soviet Army in the Navy since 1938. At the beginning of the war he was called up for service in the navy. He was seriously injured and then sent to the Hot Key Hospital. At this, my great-grandfather’s participation in the war ended. He returned to his hometown of Baku in Azerbaijan.
I’m sharing a story that helped me improve my relationship with my grandfather. This story is about how failure can become a blessing if you want that.
Halyna Serhijenko was born in 1946 in Mariupol, Donetsk oblast. She tells about the events that took place in her family and the town during WW2 based on the words of her parents and friends.
This story is about our father, grandfather, and great-grandfather who took part in the most fierce battles of the German-Soviet war. The events of the 1940s affected him so much that the victory he won together with millions of other soldiers, did not become a matter of pride, but rather something that he preferred to forget. Our grandfather hardly ever mentioned any details, the details of those terrible times, but what he did tell has remained in the memory of his children, including my grandmother (his daughter), my mother, my uncle, and in my personal memories. Together we have conducted our family research and put together all the information provided by our great-grandfather. The text has been voiced-over by my mother as one of the bearers of our family history!
This is the story of a Russian girl who remembers famine and Soviet collective farms and was able to survive by finding salvation in Ukraine. This is about my grandmother, who is of Russian nationality. Starting from her birth in 1943, she spent her childhood in Soviet Russia. Her most painful memories apart from the ones described in this interview are the memories of the famine in her grandmother’s family. They lived in a small house (as a child I visited it and I can remember it). My grandmother, Raisa Tokarevych, lived with her mother, father, grandmother, an aunt, and a brother. She remembers her mother swelling up with hunger, her brother Tolya being on the verge of dying, her father (a teacher and the head of the collective farm) having been wounded during the war. My grandmother told me how she took turns with her brother to prepare their homework sitting at a small table and using the only candle. However, despite the constant misery she still tried to do something that brought her spiritual joy and inspiration. She used to embroider the on the stove in low light keeping out of her father’s eyes. These paintings are our pride today. Grandma’s life was not easy. Listen to her interview and you’ll find sincere emotions and memories of my family history.
The history of my family reflects life in a totalitarian regime. All that my great grandfather and great-grandmother went through shows and demonstrates the lack of respect for a human being, invasion of privacy and persecution, violates morality, human rights and freedoms. That is why, under the Soviet rule, millions of people were subjected to the arbitrariness of the totalitarian state, and many were never able to reunite with their families.
Zinaida Laskova was born on August 21, 1926 in the village of Hnylozubivka into a large family. She survived the Holodomor of 1932-1933. My great-grandmother witnessed World War II. When she was 16 years old, she was taken to Germany, where she worked first at a factory and then in a local tavern, where the locals used to come for a beer. After the war, my great-grandmother turned back home. On her way home, she was accompanied by the scary-looking prisoners of concentration camps. After the war, she got married and had three children. Until the end of her life, Zinaida Laskova was considered by many to be a very cultured, honest, and kind person.
Life story of a political prisoner of the Soviet totalitarian regime, who passed through 10 years of prison labour camps.
During World War II many families were forced to resettle and head to the West leaving behind all their belongings. It was an exhausting travel in goods wagons. Zofia Mazur was a victim of the process.
I don’t know where my dad went. He wasn’t at home for almost a week. When German soldiers left the village he came back and his friend told him: “Don’t show the dog!” But how to hide a dog, where?!
The winter war became a horrendous test for the military. My grandfather said: “After the Nazi had left the Ukrainian village it was occupied by the Bolsheviks.”
A story of Lidia, a daughter, and Natalia, granddaughter about their mother and grand-mother Anna Fokina, who have been forcibly moved to Germany and worked there on a plant as ostarbeiters.
During the WW2 my great-grandfather served on the 2nd Ukrainian Front as a machine gunner of machine gunning company of the 4th Separate Guardian motorcycle Fokshan regiment.
The war began when Nadiia was not even a one year old, but the worst memories are connected with the post-war times, the famine of 1946-1947.
Programme of the internal meeting of the Ukrainian group in Kyiv, 15-17 December 2017.
My great-granny didn’t know that in February 1943 her sister Motia, all her family including two children – Slavik and Valia – were killed by the SS officers.
Photos from the internal meeting of the Ukrainian team in Vinnytsia on 15-17 September 2017 of the History begins in the family youth international project 2017-2018.
In 1941-1943 my grandfather was a minor prisoner of a Nazi ghetto in Domanivka, Novobohdanivka (Odesa region). He is a son of repressed fathers, former prisoner of a Nazi ghetto. Now he is a pensioner, lives in Donetsk.
Programme of the internal meeting of the Ukrainian group in Vinnytsia, September 15-17’17